On any given day you can find Rebecca Overmann happily ensconced in her studio in San Francisco’s Mission District. From initial sketch to completed jewel she and her team of jewelers execute each stage of creation and bring her organic inspired designs to life. A trained metalsmith in her own right, Rebecca carves wax by hand revealing the design as she works. She wears each new piece for a couple of weeks to ensure both the style and comfort meet her high standards before becoming part of her collection. We had the opportunity to ask Rebecca some telling questions to find out what makes this talented designer tick.
What’s on your playlist while you’re working at the bench?
We’re an eclectic bunch! While I’m at the bench I tend towards Matthew Dear but that’s just me. We all have input in the music and it can go from Sade to Johnny Cash to Mos Def in the span of 20 minutes.
The next stop on my travel list is:
Boring I know, but Hawaii or Baja — I need a quick recharge! Southern Africa’s pretty high on the list for the next big trip.
We’re coming over for dinner, what’s on the menu?
You’d have to ask my husband (he’s the cook in the house)…. But if it’s Friday, definitely pizza on the grill.
What are you most proud of?
The studio-family we’ve built! I’m so fortunate I get to work with such incredibly talented and skilled people on a daily basis. Over the past couple of years I’ve made a big push to bring all aspects of production in-house — I’m very proud to say that everything we produce is done entirely in our San Francisco studio by some of the most skilled jewelers I’ve known.
Tell us about an unlikely source of inspiration.
Nothing seems that unlikely anymore! I’ve always found the most inspiration from the physical world around me — textures (whether natural or man made) often find their way into my pieces. For a time, I was using a chunk of concrete that I found on my way to the studio to texture my men’s bands.
Tell us about a past failure and what you learned from it.
I wouldn’t necessarily call it a failure now, but at the time it certainly felt like one. Not too long after moving to San Francisco to pursue a career in graphic design and advertising, I was laid off. The upside was that my stipend bought me enough time to try jewelry full-time — here I am 13 years later!
What is your favorite quote or mantra that you live your life by?
I’m not much of a mantra person — but there are certainly some ideals that are hugely important to me. Relationships both personally and
professionally are extremely important and I absolutely love the fact that I still sell at the very first store to ever pick up my line. Control is a big one for me — I don’t believe that anyone can produce something truly wonderful without a tremendous amount of control — control of the process, the materials, the design and the patience to stay the course. Fun. It should be fun to do what you do every day (I’m still having a lot of fun)!
How do you stay balanced?
I limit the time that I work on, or think about jewelry to my waking hours :) Having two Australian Shepherds though, is a nice distraction.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Chocolate… not so guilty though.
Tell us about your most sentimental piece of jewelry and the story behind it.
Just one? I’m a very sentimental person and I have quite a collection of pieces — from turquoise bracelets I bought as a teenager to diamond rings that I’ve made recently. These are the first earrings I ever made myself (a very long time ago) — and while they probably won’t end up in my line anytime soon, they remind me of the excitement I felt when I first started making jewelry .
If I weren’t designing jewelry I’d be
That crazy lady with way too many dogs (and cats) — I think I’d definitely have to be involved in some way with animal rescue or rehabilitation.
And lastly, here’s a speed round of one of our favorite games, THIS OR THAT:
Five star hotel or tent under the stars? Five start tent under the stars.
Hike all day or dance all night?
Hike all day…. As long as it’s with my pups.
Street art or museum of art?
Sweet or savory?
Both… the latter followed by the former.
Digital or analog?
Music: Digital (convenience wins) Jewelry: Definitely analog — I’m all about what someone can do with their hands, not a computer! Art: Analog — I loved time in the darkroom when I was studying photography. We’re so grateful to Rebecca for letting us get to know a bit more about her. We have always been thrilled to represent the work of such an inspired designer. Now we have a newfound respect and admiration for the woman herself. We hope you will be inspired too! Shop our Rebecca Overmann jewelry collection